Discharge in pregnancy

Having more vaginal discharge during pregnancy is common, but speak to your midwife or doctor if you are unsure about any increase or change in your vaginal discharge.

How much discharge is normal in pregnancy?

Having more vaginal discharge during pregnancy is common. Healthy vaginal discharge is usually thin, clear or milky white and shouldn’t smell bad.

Speak to your midwife or doctor if you are unsure about any increase or change in your vaginal discharge.

Infection

Call your midwife if you have vaginal discharge and:

  • it smells bad
  • is green, brown or yellow
  • you feel itchy or sore around your vagina
  • you have pain when you wee.

This may mean you have an infection that needs to be treated.

Vaginal bleeding

If you have any vaginal bleeding at any time during your pregnancy contact your midwife. You could also contact your GP you’re only a few weeks pregnant. Any sign of blood, which may be red (like if you cut your finger) or dark brown (like old blood) needs to be checked straight away.

Read more about bleeding in pregnancy.

Is it discharge or my waters breaking?

More discharge can be common in pregnancy but you will need to call your maternity unit and get checked urgently if:

  • your discharge is watery
  • your discharge changes
  • you’re bleeding
  • your baby is moving less than usual
  • your waters are green, brown or contain blood.

Leaking or gushing clear or pinkish liquid before 37 weeks.

This may mean that your waters have broken early (preterm prelabour rupture of membranes - PPROM).

If this happens you and your baby are at risk of infection. You may also go into labour and deliver your baby early.

Phone your maternity unit immediately.

Read more about premature birth.

Leaking or gushing clear or pinkish fluid after 37 weeks

This may mean that your waters have broken and that you may be about to go into labour. Call the maternity unit and tell them what has happened. You may not need to go to the hospital straight away but they will write down what time your waters broke and tell you what to do next.

Read more about waters breaking after 37 weeks.

 

Read more symptoms in pregnancy

Sources

  1. Macdonald S, Magill-Cuerden J, Mayes’ midwifery, thirteenth editionEdinburgh, Bailliere Tindall Elsevier, 2012

 

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Last reviewed on September 27th, 2018. Next review date September 27th, 2021.

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Comments

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 1 Mar 2019 - 21:39

    Hi, well i had a brownish discharge for days and stopped, later a little drops of blood started , it comes for an hour n stop for a day or two then comes again for one week then later started with light red but doesn't fill a pad and doesn't come at night , but hasn't stopped , pls what could be the cause

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 4 Mar 2019 - 15:59

    Hi, You don't say how many weeks pregnant you are? I would suggest that you see your doctor or midwife who will try to help you look for a cause.

  • By Mimi (not verified) on 17 Feb 2019 - 14:26

    I'm 41+2weeks,for six days ve been seeing vaginal discharge but no labour pains and head not yet engaged.is anything the matter?

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 18 Feb 2019 - 09:39

    Hi Mimi, It is very important that you see a doctor or midwife for a full antenatal check as soon as possible. The discharge and the baby's position need to be assessed and discussed and a plan put in place for induction of labour in case you don't go into labour spontaneously.

  • By Darlene (not verified) on 15 Feb 2019 - 03:25

    Hello, am 38 wks pregnant with my first baby but 2 days ago after having intercourse my discharge which was ok before has now turned into tiny solid creamy particles which I see in the urine I pass out. there is no odour,no itching or pain but am scared it could be an infection. should I apply clotrimazole pessaries just to clear my doubts or wait and see if any abnormality like itching or pain comes about, pliz advise me. thank u.
    Then also what causes a baby to go beyond the due date?

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 20 Feb 2019 - 12:31

    Hi Darlene
    Please go to your labour ward/triage at your local hospital for urgent review - they will examine/assess you and prescribe any medication that you might need. Please do not use any medication in pregnancy unless it is prescribed for you. Please take care, Tommy's Midwife

  • By Kayla (not verified) on 13 Feb 2019 - 16:09

    I am 26 weeks and 6 days. Yesterday i had a good amount of this discharge all of a sudden. Its not happening everytime i wipe but maybe 4 out of 10 times. I have also continued to have it today as well but not everytime. Is this normal or should i be worried. It doesnt have a smell and i have no burning,itching,or redness.

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 15 Feb 2019 - 15:41

    Hi Kayla,
    It can be very normal for discharge to increase and change in pregnancy. If the discharge is watery and you need to wear a pad then this will need to be reviewed. If you are having any pain or itchy then again call your midwife for a review.
    Best wishes
    Tommy's midwife

  • By Mimi (not verified) on 30 Jan 2019 - 16:49

    I'm 46 yrs me and my husband TTC no baby. My period was 30 days late then later I had a very heavy period no clots lasted 3 days now I'm experiencing brown watery discharge with funny smell. What does that mean

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 31 Jan 2019 - 10:48

    Hi - Thank you for your message. If your discharge is unusual and has an odour, you should visit your doctor for advice and care. You may have an infection that would require treatment.

  • By Helen (not verified) on 28 Jan 2019 - 11:44

    I am 41+ 6 days now no sign of labor first child though.

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 29 Jan 2019 - 12:05

    Hi Helen - please check out our page below on how to naturally help to get yourself into labour...
    https://www.tommys.org/pregnancy-information/labour-birth/labour-and-birth-faqs/can-anything-bring-labour
    All the best - Tommy's Midwife

  • By Sai Hema (not verified) on 23 Jan 2019 - 12:46

    I'm 8weeks pregnant. Two days back I had lot of cramping and backache around midnight then it started to bleed in red, next day morning we visited doc and done beta hcg and counts are 2010, urine test +ve, light bleeding that entire day, doc suggested me progesterone 200mg, But today morning bleeding increased and suddenly I passed two medium sized clots, called doc about this she suggested me progesterone injection. Now bleeding stopped and having watery white discharge. Please help me out.... Is my baby healthy... Fingers crossed

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 29 Jan 2019 - 12:03

    Hi Sai Hema
    Your doctor is best placed to guide you on your pregnancy health. Bleeding and abdominal pain, at any gestation, is deemed as abnormal until proven otherwise. And pregnancy can cause increased discharge. If it is clear and milky, then this is normal. If it is yellow, green, brown, smelly, itchy or burning,- then this is not normal and you should have swabs taken to tests for an infection. Please take good care. Tommy's Midwife

  • By Sam (not verified) on 19 Jan 2019 - 23:01

    Hi
    I am 6 weeks+ pregnant I have a history of 2 miscarriages at 4+ months and 5 weeks. I have been getting lower abdominal pain and whittish discharge is this normal because I am really worried about this.
    Thank you

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 25 Jan 2019 - 12:10

    Dear Sam,
    I am sorry to hear about your miscarriages and it is completely understandable that you are feeling anxious in this pregnancy. Some lower abdominal pain can be normal, often women will describe it as period like cramps. As long as this feels generalised without bleeding then just to rest up where possible. If you are having any bleeding or the pain is to one side then you need to be seen by your GP. Again whitish discharge is common, discharge will often increase during pregnancy. If you are experiencing any itching then this could be thrush, so again see your GP if this is the case.
    Best wishes
    Tommy's midwife

  • By Ac (not verified) on 18 Jan 2019 - 18:27

    Hello, I have had a yellow discharge with a sort of vinegary smell on and off during my pregnancy. I'm currently 15 weeks and 5 and I mentioned it to my booking appointment with my midwife at 12 weeks but she said changes in discharge are normal. I'm just a bit concerned that it has come back again.

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 23 Jan 2019 - 16:42

    Hi AC
    Pregnancy can cause changes in your vaginal discharge. If it is a worry to you and is uncomfortable, your midwife or GP can do a vaginal swab sample and send it off if there is a strong and unusual smell. Please return for them to do this.
    All the best, Tommy's Midwife

  • By keshy (not verified) on 8 Jan 2019 - 09:55

    hi am eight and a half months pregnant and for two days now av noticed some clear reddish bloodstains after wiping myself after weeing en my have some pain on my back just on top of my butt*cks en under my pelvis, this started after I had s*x,is this something to cause an alarm?this is my first pregnancy

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 8 Jan 2019 - 11:36

    Hi Keshy - thank you for your message.
    If you have any vaginal bleeding at any time during your pregnancy contact your midwife. You could also contact your GP you’re only a few weeks pregnant. Any sign of blood, which may be red (like if you cut your finger) or dark brown (like old blood) needs to be checked straight away.

  • By Mirah (not verified) on 6 Jan 2019 - 20:08

    Im having this discharge, odurless and I’m going to be in my 39weeks by Wednesday, y is my discharge coming more? Does it mean my baby is getting ready? And my cramps are getting more heavy. Pls y?

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 8 Jan 2019 - 11:49

    Having more vaginal discharge during pregnancy is common. Healthy vaginal discharge is usually thin, clear or milky white and shouldn’t smell bad.
    Speak to your midwife or doctor if you are unsure about any increase or change in your vaginal discharge.

    Mild period-like discomfort or cramps at the end of your pregnancy are common and nothing to worry about, but call your midwife if you have any concerns.
    You may also experience Braxton Hicks contractions, which are a sign that the muscles of your womb are tightening. This can happen from as early as 16 weeks, but are more common in later pregnancy.

    Braxton Hicks’ contractions are:
    irregular (more than 10 minutes apart)
    short-lasting
    uncomfortable more than painful.
    You do not need to contact your maternity unit or midwife unless your contractions become painful and regular (less than 10 minutes apart).

  • By Hayley (not verified) on 5 Jan 2019 - 17:33

    Hi I'm 24 weeks pregnant. Stood up at 12noon and had a gush of liquid, went through my pants, landline and trousers. Had nothing at all since and it's now 5.34pm. Not sure whether I should get checked or not.

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 8 Jan 2019 - 11:54

    Hi Hayley,
    Any leaking or gushing of clear or pinkish liquid before 37 weeks, may indicate a leak in your waters.
    If this happens you and your baby are at risk of infection. You may also go into labour and deliver your baby early.
    It is essential that you phone your maternity unit immediately and be checked out urgently.

  • By Bryony Edwards (not verified) on 3 Jan 2019 - 06:10

    Hello, i am 15 weeks pregnant and had some bleeding and brown/pink discharge on and iff between 6-10 weeks, all was checked and baby is fine. This morning i have gone to the toilet and there was brown discharge again. Ive had no pain but wondered if this was normal? Should i go to a&e at all?

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 8 Jan 2019 - 11:57

    Hi Bryony
    Having more vaginal discharge during pregnancy is common. Healthy vaginal discharge is usually thin, clear or milky white and shouldn’t smell bad. However, you must call your midwife if you have vaginal discharge and:
    it smells bad
    is green, brown or yellow
    you feel itchy or sore around your vagina
    you have pain when you wee.
    This may mean you have an infection that needs to be treated.

  • By Rebecca (not verified) on 19 Dec 2018 - 20:10

    Im 36 + 4 weeks and i find myself always having to change my panties everytime i go pee i see that their a good amount of liquid soaking through should i worry is it normal

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 20 Dec 2018 - 16:04

    Hi Rebecca, If you think that your water's may have gone, you should call your maternity unit and go in for assessment. I wouldn't be able to advise you without examining you. It is possible that this is normal vaginal discharge which is usually clear or milky and has no smell, or it could be urine if you have leaked a bit. Either way, if you are unsure, please go and check.

  • By Janette (not verified) on 1 Dec 2018 - 11:20

    Hi.
    At 6 weeks, I found out i was pregnant with twins but only one was viable.
    At 9 weeks, I had a red bleed. Scan showed second sac was significantly shrinking and there was a 2cm SCH above the baby. I rested as much as possible (and each day found brown discharge) and at 11 weeks, it was confirmed by scan that second sac and SCH were no longer visible.
    Yesterday, I had another scan which showed baby doing great and again no sign of second sac or SCH. Baby is measuring at 13 weeks and sonographer said all was great!
    However, a couple of hours after the scan, I had an episode of brown discharge followed by a small brown clot. I’ve had no discharge (other than a small amount of the usual pale yellow/white) since.
    Could it still be the last part of the SCH coming out? The last time I passed a small clot was 6 days prior to scan.

    In other words, do I need to contact my midwife? Or should I see if I have another episode before I get in touch? I have appointment with consultant in 10 days.

    Thanks

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 4 Dec 2018 - 12:11

    Hi - Thank you for your message. I'm sorry to hear of the difficult and worrying time you have been having during this pregnancy. The good news is that you last scan was so positive - however, I would advise that you should contact your midwife/maternity unit about the clot you have passed.
    Best Wishes

  • By Maria (not verified) on 26 Nov 2018 - 18:47

    Hi, i am on my 25 week, had a busy and tiring weekend, but today evening when i wiped after passing urine, i noticed a blood tinged brownish discharge.i felt baby movements today,
    Is it something to worry about, i have an apt with the doctor next week? I am so scared and confused, i am lying down for now, please give me advice on what i should do?
    This is my first pregnancy.
    Thankyou so much in advance.

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 28 Nov 2018 - 11:43

    Hi Maria
    Bleeding, at any gestation, should be reviewed as soon as possible at your local maternity unit. It's wonderful that you are keeping active and that you are feeling good fetal movements, but its best to be reviewed a soon as you can in relation to the bleed. Please don't forget to take your pregnancy notes with you. All the best - Tommy's Midwife

  • By Josie (not verified) on 22 Nov 2018 - 17:42

    Hi I was wondering on a bit of advice I'm 32 weeks pregnant and for. Last couple days I've had quite damp knickers a little bit more than damp actually it's like a very watery discharge even leaked through to my leggings yesterday and a little on my bed when I went to get up to go for a wee. It's not urine because it doesn't smell now today about half hour ago I went for a wee and there was a lot of discharge and my knickers were damp I've actually been satin I've had a bit of belly ache today and a little back ache the belly ache is around my pelvis and back ache just above my bum

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 23 Nov 2018 - 10:05

    Hi Josie,
    It can be normal to having heavier discharge in pregnancy and sometimes this can also change in consistency. However I would strongly advise for you to contact your maternity unit today for a review just to check that your waters have not broken, sometimes this just looks like a trickle, you do not always get a gush of fluid. If you have any bleeding or the discharge looks green then you need to go in immediately.
    Best wishes
    Tommy's midwife

  • By Josie (not verified) on 24 Nov 2018 - 19:58

    Thanks went in hospital that night and found out I was in labour had a healthy baby boy about an hour later born 8 weeks premature

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 26 Nov 2018 - 15:20

    Congratulations Josie, I assume he is in NICU. I hope he is doing well and that you are also recovering. Best wishes x

  • By Jade (not verified) on 13 Nov 2018 - 23:30

    Hi I'm about 34 weeks 4 days I'm a low risk pregancany I noticed i had spot on my vagina bone but obvs as having a big bump needed a mirror to check it at first but also noticed while checking everything down there as it had been a while that inside the vagina I had a bit of white/milky clear watery like discharge has no odour just sitting inside doesnt look sore and it's not thick Is this normal? Also my vagina looks bigger than before is that normal? Also no pain when going to the toilet no itching ECT.

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 14 Nov 2018 - 11:23

    Hi Jade, Yes this is quite normal. Most women have an increased discharge in pregnancy.

  • By Mary (not verified) on 11 Nov 2018 - 17:23

    I was very upset and crying today as my husband really upset me. Now i went to the the loo and passed a pinkish and bright red discharge just when i wiped. Am expecting twins and am 25 weeks pregnant. Havent had sex but do have a polyp down below my cervix. Have a meeting with the gyne tomorrow evening - do i need to go in sooner ? Havent pain but like a small stitch in my side. Havent felt any kicks yet in pregnancy. They checked me out 2 weeks ago for the same reason and said all was ok that time. Helo ??

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 14 Nov 2018 - 11:20

    Yes, Any bleeding at 25 weeks should always be investigated straight away. It is very likely that this is due to the polyp but should be checked anyway.

  • By Mrs. Faizal (not verified) on 25 Oct 2018 - 16:16

    Hii..... Im 16 weeks and 5 days pregnant now.. I had small amount of bleeding in my 12th week... Then i consulted the doctor. I was given some medicine and doctor tld me nothng to worry.. Then again i had small amount of brownish bleeding in my 16 weeks and 1 day. Again i consulted the doctor and he scanned and tld me nothng to worry. Bt aftet 4 days again tdy i had 2 time brownish spotting... And i feel that my white discharge is also stopped.. Can u pls advise me...

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 26 Oct 2018 - 10:04

    Hi,
    It sounds like you are doing the right thing, with each episode of bleeding to consult your doctor, please continue to do this. With regards to your white discharge stopping, this is not usually something to worry about, discharge can change in pregnancy. If you have any watery discharge, have any pain or feeling itchy then please let your doctor know so they can review you.
    Best wishes
    Tommy's midwife

  • By E Mann (not verified) on 22 Oct 2018 - 14:42

    Good Afternoon,

    A year ago i had a miscarriage and this weekend I did a pregnancy test and it was positive however i am getting cramps that feel just like my period is coming. They are mild and come and go but are more there than not there.

    I did the test Sunday and my period is due today/ tomorrow.

    Should i be concerned i am so anxious after my last miscarriage.

    Thank you in advance.

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 23 Oct 2018 - 13:47

    I am so sorry to hear about your miscarriage. Unfortunately though I can't give you any assurances for this pregnancy. It is still too soon to know whether the egg will implant successfully and I'm afraid that you will have to wait to see if your period comes over the nest day or two. Best wishes to you

  • By Nancy (not verified) on 18 Sep 2018 - 14:29

    Hi, I think am 3 weeks pregnant and today I had abdominal pain and later noticed a reddish and brownish discharge which is smelly.. Is this something I should worry about?

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 20 Sep 2018 - 14:12

    Hi Nancy, Thank you for your comment.
    Have you confirmed your pregnancy with a positive pregnancy test? It could be that you are coming on your period? If you know that you are pregnant and your are having bleeding, abdominal pain and an offensive smell then we would suggest that you see your GP who will be able to check your pregnancy hormone levels to see if they are rising and possibly take a swab to see if your have any infection. Hope this helps, Take Care, Tommy's Midwives x

  • By Lisa (not verified) on 2 Aug 2018 - 01:47

    Hi my name is Lisa and this is my first pregnancy and I just noticed tonight that when I went toilet I filled the toilet with bright red blood and had to wear a sanitary pad to bed. Is that normal? Should I ring the maternity now? Or should I wait till morning thanks Lisa

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 3 Aug 2018 - 13:02

    Dear Lisa,
    Please be aware this is a non urgent service. I hope that you contacted your maternity unit and have been seen, if not please contact your maternity unit straight away.
    Best wishes
    Tommy's midwife

  • By Brenda (not verified) on 29 Jun 2018 - 01:30

    Hi My Due Date Of Giving Birth Was 26may, It Pasted A Week When I Had Cramps, I Thought It Was Labour But The Doctor Check Me For An Ultra Sound And Said I Should Wait For 2wks. 2wks Have Pasted And Nothing Is Happening, Am Worried Because Am Entering 11months And Its My First Pregnancy,please Advice Me What To Do. Thank You

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 29 Jun 2018 - 12:00

    Hi Brenda,
    In the UK all women are offered an induction of labour when they are about 10-14days passed their due date. From your message it sounds like you are over a month passed your due date so you should have definitely been offered an induction as research shows the placenta becomes less efficient during this time. It is very very important that you monitor your baby's movements closely, if you notice they have reduced or changed then you must go to the hospital straight away.
    I would strongly advise for you to speak with your doctor about inducing your labour.
    Best wishes
    Tommy's midwife

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